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2023 Author: Benjamin Dyson | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-29 11:00
To assess liver he alth, the doctor may request blood tests, ultrasound and even a biopsy, as these tests provide important information about changes in this organ.
The liver participates in the digestion and metabolism of food and, in addition, it is through it that ingested medicines, for example, pass. Thus, when there is some liver dysfunction, the person may have more difficulty in properly digesting fats, needing to follow a special diet, in addition to avoiding using over-the-counter medications. Check liver functions.
The tests your doctor may order to assess liver he alth include:
1. Blood tests: AST, ALT, Gamma-GT
Whenever the doctor needs to evaluate the he alth of the liver, he starts by requesting a blood test called Hepatogram, which evaluates: AST, ALT, GGT, albumin, bilirubin, lactate dehydrogenase and prothrombin time. These tests are usually ordered together and provide important information about the condition of the liver, being altered when there is an injury, as they are very sensitive markers. Learn how to understand the "Image" exam and the AST exam.
These tests may also be ordered when a person has symptoms of liver involvement such as yellow skin, dark urine, abdominal pain, or swelling in the liver area. However, the doctor can also request these tests when he needs to evaluate the liver of a person who takes medication daily, consumes a lot of alcohol or has a disease that affects him directly or indirectly.
2. Imaging exams
Ultrasonography, elastography, computed tomography and magnetic resonance can demonstrate through computer-generated images how the structure of the liver is found, making it easy for the technician to identify the presence of cysts or tumors. In addition, it can be useful, in some cases, to assess the passage of blood through the organ.
Usually the doctor orders this type of test when the blood tests are abnormal or when the liver is very swollen. It may also be indicated after an automobile or sports accident when organ damage is suspected.
A biopsy is usually ordered when the doctor has found major changes in the test results, such as an increase in ALT, AST, or GGT, and especially when a liver nodule or cyst is found during ultrasound.
This test can indicate whether the liver cells are normal, are severely affected by diseases such as cirrhosis, or if there are cancer cells, so that the diagnosis can be made and the appropriate treatment can be started. The biopsy is done with a needle that penetrates the skin and reaches the liver, and small pieces of the organ are removed, which are sent to the laboratory and analyzed by means of visualization under a microscope. See what it is for and how the liver biopsy is performed.